Mace 2018 Was Great!

Mace 2018 is now behind us, and it was yet again another great convention. For myself, this one was quite different from past years. Over the course of 2018, I have tried my hand as a vendor at each MACE that I have attended. Thankfully, I can say that I have had great success at each of these events. 

I feel I am very certain that it is something that I will continue to do going forward. I enjoy making the items that I sell.  As well the reactions of excitement that I see on so many faces when they purchase something that is in its own way slightly unique. 

This year we offered up a full table of things for sale. In the past events, we have attended we only have brought a few things. overall everything was well received. With each convention, we have learned some things do better than others. I already know that the next event we go to the table will look different yet again. 

Sadly I did not play in any games this year. That was due partly to my desire to devote my full attention the vending at this convention. Also, I did not sign up for any games at the event in advance. Now that we both feel confident just one of us can manage the full table we will plan to get in several games each.

Thankfully I still did get the opportunity to talk to many of my friends and gamers. After all half of the reason why I go to Mace is to see and spend time with my convention family. It also helped that my dear friends ran a vendor table next to us. So this made for a very relaxing weekend overall. The whole weekend left me feeling mentally and physically in a much better place then I have been in several weeks if not months. Case in point, I am writing again. 

Mace also served as a good place spread my business cards around and inform people that I now have opened an Etsy store! If you would like to take a look at that here is the link. https://www.etsy.com/shop/RunklePlaysGames I prefer it to the WordPress store as it is just more easy to navigate. 

NOTE: in the near future expect to see the WordPress site store closing down as I will be shifting to embracing the Etsy store fully. 

One of the surprises hits at MACE was the adorable dice holder beholder dice jails that are handmade. If you would like to check them out you can find a crafting blog about that below. Also if you like them you can find them on the Etsy store as well. 
https://runkleplaysgames.com/2018/08/29/crafting-corner-dice-holder-beholder/

DogMight Treats: A gift to RPG Readers.

With Convention Session upon us. DogMight Games reached out to me and wanted me to offer up a sweet deal to anyone of my readers heading to GenCon or Origins. If you make your way over to take a look at some of their fine products in person. Just show them this coupon printed out or on your phone and they will give you 20% off your purchase.

That’s a pretty good deal considering if  like me. I waffled a lot at the decision to make the purchase of their products because of their price point while only looking at pictures of their stuff.

But wow when you see it in person. You are going to be glad you got this coupon with you. So go forth and enjoy! As always, thank you for coming to my blog. Thank you for making all of this so much fun and GAME ON!

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Run Your Own Con! — World Builder Blog

Having been one of the driving forces behind Gathering in the part and then the RPG Director of Storm-Con a game convention that ran for 3 years. This is a very well thought out plan for a mini convention. I know other small format conventions that run in just such a manner!  This format was very well thought out. And I highly recommend any group of gamers that over the years have grown separated to give something like this a try!

Not only are Mini conventions pretty darn fun. Think of it as an annual gamer reunion! Events like this since they are small format can also be planned to do a little sightseeing or take time out for a group dinner.

 

I love games. LOVE them. If you’re like me you have adventures, entire RPGs, and board games on your shelf that you’ve never played… maybe never even opened! Even as a kid I didn’t have time to try everything. Now that I’m an adult, I have more money and even less time so the books continue […]

via Run Your Own Con! — World Builder Blog

MACE: After convention report.

MACE2014-2

Mace has come and gone once again. This year was different for me then years past for me. Each year for the past three years I have packed and prepared to head north not just to play games. But to spread the word of my very own game convention. But now that Storm-Con  has drawn to a close. I looked to heading to Mace for the first  year as an attendee. Not as a representative of another convention.

I actually was unsure of what this year would be like. I was always so aware of the fact that much of what I attended the convention for over the years would not be a part of the con for me this year. It left me feeling odd as we arrived. The sensation went away almost as fast as I stepped off the escalator and onto the con room floor. I was as always warmly greeted by the con staff as I checked in to get my badge. I looked at my games and then took to a quick walk through.

Old  habits nearly took over. One of my favorite things about arriving slightly early to a convention is you get that time to track down old friends that you only see at cons. You can share some stories and catch up with vendors you know and game designers. Its kind of calm before the storm. I quickly realized that the only thing that had really changed with anyone I would talk to at this years Mace would simply not asking if I would see them at my convention the next year.

I only ran two games this year at the convention. Both of them were Numenera. I ran the Spider Knight from the Weird Discoveries 10 instant adventures book that recently was released. The Flow Chart design and good theme make for an easy game to run with many options. This really makes for a great low prep high quality game for a convention. Where you’re sitting down with gamer’s that you are not familiar with. Often its these types of games that will have a player at the table throw you unexpected curve balls. The layout/mind map style really helps to keep things flowing the right direction as well as give you an excellent visual of where to take a group if they “Travel off the path”.

My second game that I ran was the new adventure “The Hideous Game”. I decided that I really liked this adventure but I wanted to give the players a chance to experience a little bit more of the city then what was presented.  So I dipped back in to the Weird Discoveries book and took A snippet from the adventure Greed. Adding a few murders by each of the cities bridges. To tie this back into “The Hideous Game.” I had the first encounter of the story line occur on the Kings Bridge. I Then dropped an encounter location in the market by the Water Dancers because I found the location so awesome. Thank you Cypher Chronicles.

I had the pleasure of playing many games this year. More so than years in the past. Several that are now on my list of must buy games. I think my fellow gamer’s will enjoy them as much as I did. This also has moved me into a new realm of reviews I will begin doing soon as well. Board Games and Card Games. Yes, it is true I have done some in the past. But I have mostly left this to other bloggers. With extra time and energy freed up that I used to invest in Convention related things. It was the next natural choice to put that extra efforts going forward into my blog.

As Friday was rolling to a close I had the chance to sit down and play Sheriff of Nottingham. I must say with a table full of Roleplayer’s this game rapidly moves from a top tier game to an out of control hit of a game!  We laughed and played and bribed our way to the two full hour of one of the most memorable games I have had in years. As Saturday rolled to a close I finally drug myself to my room for sleep around 3:30 am. I would find myself looking for a copy of this game to buy for the rest of the convention. Sadly I was unable to pick up a copy of the game. But no worries I called my FLGS at home and ordered a copy that I hope to pick up around the time this blog posts.

Saturdays focus was all on my RPG’s I sat in on a game and then ran two of my own as mentioned above. In my free time between games I wandered through the con hall and checked on many of the RPG’s and Board games vendor tables that had set up to show off their products for the event. As I was speaking with the author and creator of Kromore The RPG. Charles White from Fabled Environments and I bumped into me and encouraged more than one of the vendors to send some product my way. As it turned out far more of the vendors were interested then I had thought there would be. SO as of this week I have a very large back log of things that I will be delving into.

On Sunday before I left for the trek home I had the pleasure to sit down for and get a long needed demo for the Deck Building game Hull Breach. Two things that I learned in this demo. First the team that runs the demos for Hull Breach are a cut above other demo teams.
These guys not only run a wonderful game they are a pleasure to chat with. They bring the world of Hull Breach to life and really make you want to be part of it! I can hardly forgive myself that Hull Breach had come to Storm-Con repeatedly and I had yet to play this game. Well the hooks are in and they are in deep. I love this game !

So to wrap things up. It was an awesome convention. I got to hang out with awesome people. As well as life long friends ! In closing I can not wait until next  year when I make that trek to North Carolina and play games with my friends at Mace next year !

 

Tips for convention GM’s!

Well, it’s about that time of year for many of us. Con season! Yup, it’s about that time of year again for me. As Storm-Con closes in I begin to gather all the things that I need or think I will need for the games I plan to run at the convention. So I thought it might be a good blog to share some tips for prepping for running games at a convention with you. I count myself lucky and slightly crazy that I wear two hats. Not only am I a convention goer and GM. But I Run the RPG side of a convention myself.  So I might be able to help shed a bit of light on some inside tips.

Pack Early

Pack your con bag early and by early I am implying more than the night before. Put everything in your bag and make sure it all fits. Then leave it and walk away. Come back the night before and double-check to make sure you did not miss anything. Usually, I have, I often will be so intent on making sure I have all the maps, NPC, minis, pregens, and handouts that often something silly like pencils or DICE slip by and forget to be packed. So I pack my con game bag three or four-day before I head to a convention and check it once more the night before I head out.
If you get to the point where you are running games at more than one convention regularly. You might start keeping some things packed all the time. I have a con-box now and a folder next to my con box of Pregns and adventures I commonly run at cons. Just in case I need something on short notice. My con box has some spare pencils and dice as well as a dry erase mat that I can use as a battle mat.

Pregenerated Characters

Bring pre-generated characters with you to the games you are going to run. Everyone loves to try new systems at conventions. But short of Traveler where you can actually DIE in character creation. Most systems have a very boring way of handling rolling up players characters.  This is also not the most effective use of the rest of your players time at the table. No one wants to sit around for 20 min while a stranger rolls up a PC. Con time is for game time and like it or not every game is on a clock. Nothing would be more frustrating to a player than to play three and a half hours of an awesome story just to have the story cut short because the group ran out of time due to PC generation earlier in the game.
Just like pre-generated characters it never hurts to be a nice guy and have a few pencils and some spare dice that you don’t love on hand for the gamer that will likely sit at your table and have nothing, not even dice.  It will happen, trust me shocking as it may seem it never fails at least once a year a player sits down at my table with no dice.
Now Pencils and dice are not required or expected for you to provide at conventions. It’s just nice of you to have some of these extra things on hand. As well as it makes everyone’s experience smoother and more pleasant.

Be Prepared

Use your time wisely. Before game during the game and after. If you already have packed your con bag this is your first step in good time management. Prep the adventure you plan to run. Read it go over it and know the story so that you can spend less of your time referencing your adventure and more of your time running your adventure. If you have the chance before the convention RUN your adventure for others. You may find out in the running of your adventure, some parts tend to run long or get looked over and shorten the game. These are all things you can do ahead of time that will make your running the game at the convention more rewarding for you and your players.

Arrive at your table early. Take this time to set up your area. This also gives you the chance to get acquainted with your players as they make their way to your table. It will make everyone’s experience better overall and during this time you can reference your adventure once last time before the game starts. Use this time to also learn if any of your players need any supplies. Maybe someone will want an extra sheet of paper to write in some notes and now is a good time to make sure your players have their dice and such as well.

Have a backup plan if part of your story is running long or short so that you can get the most out of your game! If your game runs long then you will have unhappy and annoyed gamer’s no one wants to cut game before the end. But short games can be just as bad. If your players wrap up your story a full hour before the scheduled end of the session. You run the risk of unsatisfied players. But this advice also has to be taken with a grain of salt. DO not fudge too much to keep a game going. If your players are at a high point and the enjoyment level is High and a game ends on that High. No one will be to upset about an early stop.  Timing is everything on a con game even more so than your regular game nights.

This next part is more of a good suggestion con crud is a thing prepare for it. Take some multivitamins before the con and during the con if you do not already do so.  Up your immune system and do yourself the favor. No one wants to have a great time a con and then come home and be sick for the next week. Stay hydrated and keep some snacks on hand.

The last and most important tip for a convention GM is having fun!

Draco Magi and making friends.

Here is a quick snipit of Draco Magi. I often reveiw games but Today I wanted to talk about a clip I saw my friend Robert Burke toss-up on Facebook. Draco Magi the card game. With the kickstarter finished and the cards almost ready to hit the backers Robert headed to Gen Con this year to show it off. I hope it went over as good as the game turned out. These days when I go to a convention Robert is one of the first people I look for to stop by and say hello. The day I met Robert I had the chance to play one of the first rounds of Draco Magi. The game is light years from what it was then. A statement to the effort Richard and Robert have put into the game. Yet The core Idea was and is still the same as that very first game I got to play. Dragons fighting Dragons for control of Lands.. Simple yet elegant. Even that day when I played it I could tell this was going to be a great game. But something very cool happened while Robert and I were testing out his creation.

How it all started for me. A few years back now  my friends and I were starting up this thing called Storm-Con. We were supporting other conventions and at the time I was working on making my own game as well. As the con was heading into the later hours on Saturday I stayed behind as the other Storm-Con guys were heading home. Just before the guys left we sat down with a Designer that had already donated games to our convention to get a demo of his game he sent ups Cartoona. That was the first time I met Robert Burke. We hit it off right away and chatted back and forth as he was demoing the game. Shortly after the demo was over I decided to ask his advice about the game I was working on. And that Day I learned the cardinal rule of game design.. NEVER LEAVE YOUR GAME AT HOME..because of course he asked to see it and I had nothing haha. I had mentioned in passing that my friend chuck had told me to talk of his long time friends about Kickstarter. And as of yet I had not had any luck recalling the person’s name or what game they had kicked. So since Robert had at the time kicked at least three or four games I decided to ask him if he might have an idea of who this Game Designer might be that my friend Chuck was speaking of.  Hearing the name Chuck Robert skipped over my question and inquired instead about Chuck. You guessed it Robert was the guy that Chuck had directed me to in the first place. It’s a small world after all. We bantered back and forth and fast friends were made that day. Having wrapped up a Demo of his last game he had just kicked Battle for Souls. With all his current games done he asked if I would like to see his newest game. And assured me it was in its early stages. Not wanting to end the great conversation and eager to see his games I said yes. We played a round or two and we were joined as we were wrapping  up a round of the game. That was when I met Richard Launius. Richard sat down with us as Robert politely introduced us while for the next few moments I was blissfully unaware of was about to become a collaboration of like minds that would lead to the end result of Draco Magi.  Richard watched a round and then played a round of the game. And then it began. Two board game designers and I the enthusiast started talking about the game. Not as a game but as what the game could do better.. how to take it to the next level. I will claim no credit in this process in its first days. But I will proudly state that I was there when it all began. And it was awesome !

Check them out here

http://www.greyfoxgames.com/
http://www.robertburkegames.com/